Skype has just launched a new version of Skype for Windows, version, with Facebook integration and group video features.

The most important new feature in this new version of Skype seems to be the integration with Facebook’s news feed, contact list and phonebook.

This will allow Skype users to update their own Facebook status, read the news feed, comment or “like” other people’s updates directly from within the client. Facebook is loading in a seperate tab (see above), which enables users to call and send SMS to their Facebook friends directly from Skype.

Skype has also “revitalised the look and feel, making voice and video calling, instant messaging, screen sharing and file sharing intuitive and easy to navigate.”

Here are some of the new features announced in Skype 5.0:

  • see your Facebook News Feed in Skype
  • post status updates that can be synced with your Skype mood message
  • comment and like friends’ updates and wall posts
  • call and SMS your Facebook friends on their mobile phones and landline
  • make a free Skype-to-Skype call if your Facebook friend is also a Skype contact

According to Skype, video calling accounted for approximately 40 percent of all Skype-to-Skype minutes. Users of the new version will be able to try out a beta version of a group video calling feature for free. This feature includes a functionality that automatically moves the focus to the person who talks during the call.

Skype also mentions that calls that are interrupted due to Internet connection problems, will be automaticly reconnected thanks to a new feature called “automatic call recovery”. Read all about the new features in Skype 5.0 on The Big Blog.

Skype 5.0 can be downloaded from the official website, but expect the Facebook feed to take a while to load. Seems like a lot of people has gotten the news and is checking it out. Be patient, it eventually loads.

If it takes to long, you can check out this video, where Rick Osterloh talks about Facebook integration and group video calling.